Re: Casting and Handpath
Hi, I'm a high school sophmore and my coach has been trying to change many things in my swing that follow Jack's teachings. This past week he has told me that I need to have an A to B hand path and that I am bringing my hands outward, or perpendicular to the path of the pitch. He says that as a result of this my arms are casting and its useless because it takes more time for my hands to reach the ball. This is hard advice for me to follow because I know that once the top hand has finished applying top-hand torque and the rear elbow has lowered to the side, the bottom hand begins pulling the hands in a CIRCULAR path, not a straight (A to B) path. In order for the hands to develop circular hand path, the direction must first be outward, correct? He also tells me that the hips should lead the hands and both arms should be extended at the point of contact for all pitches.
> Jack, in order to hit the outside pitch, shouldn't the hands make more of a circular hand path than they would on an inside pitch? I would think that the if you saw an overhead shot of a hitter on an inside pitch and an outside pitch, the circular hand path would differ beetween the two. On the inside pitch, the the path of the hands would be a more compact arc, while the arc on the outside pitch would be much wider, right?
Jack is away for about one more week, but I'll try to give you some information until he returns. Your coach is teaching you a pure linear swing (A to B, hands to the ball, etc). Linear mechanics do not produce a quicker swing and these mechanics will not allow you to progress at higher levels. In fact, a linear swing is slower to contact than a good rotational swing because the mechanics are less effective. A good linear swing is approximately 5.5 - 6 frames to contact at 30 frames/second, and a good rotational swing is approximately 4-5 frames to contact.
You are also correct that the initiation of the swing must be either back toward the catcher (if using top hand torque) or perpendicular to the body if using less top hand torque and are relying more on a circular hand path and bottom hand torque (hook in the handpath).
You are also correct about the outside pitch. The shoulders rotate less on an outside pitch so that the hands and arms are able to extend outward. On an inside pitch, your shoulders should be at the 105 position at contact, the arms relatively tight to the body, and the back elbow should be close to 90 degrees or slightly more extended position.
Jack will be able to give you more information when he returns, so please post again at the beginning of next month. Meanwhile, review the instructional tape one or two more times and I would recommend that you continue to practice rotational mechanics. It takes time to learn a new batting mechanic, but the hard work should be well worth it.
Best of luck,
Post a followup: